Last month at about this time, in my February accountability post, I circled back to my New Year New Writer approach for 2019, something-something zen, something-something balance. Okay, to quote our mentor Jenny Crusie, it’s a process, people!
I’m continuing to clear detritus, both in the business and personal spheres. I’m learning new things about the marketing side of writing, and reminding myself that I actually love learning new things when I allow my brain enough time and space to absorb the lessons. Still, the most important part of this whole process is getting the stories out of my head and onto the page, so here’s a summary of last month’s progress and this month’s plan.
One Kiss from Ruin. February: Moved to launch phase! This book is now officially out in the world. The launch did not go entirely smoothly. There were glitches. There are issues with reviews actually showing up on Amazon. But the book is out there, some readers already have it in their hands, and I’ve received a handful of really lovely emails from people who love Daniel’s and Emme’s story, which really makes all the glitches and mistakes and problems worth it in the end. March: Now comes marketing. Employing…well, not a hard launch, nor a soft launch (which is what I did with Too Clever by Half, the kickoff novella of the series.). But something in between those two in terms of budget, time, and effort. Running ads, testing different venue, tracking data, making adjustments. Maybe not what people think about they dream of a writing life, but the reality of the writing life in 2019.
Two Scandals Are Better Than One. February: Began the major revision and almost immediately got sidetracked by All the Things. March: Finish the revision, then send this to beta readers. While they’re reading, get serious about the cover art, which means getting on the artist’s schedule to have a proof of it ready by the end of the month.
Three Husbands and a Lover. February: Nearly completed the next third of this book. I had to take a break from writing last week to address a story problem, though. It seems that somewhere along the way, the hero lost his goal. Hasn’t mentioned it in, oh, I don’t know, maybe three or four chapters. And even before that, the obstacles in his path were pretty clearly blocking his internal need, not his external want (concrete goal). I might talk a little more about that (and the fixes I’m employing) in next week’s post, with minor spoilers. March: Fix the glaring problems, and continue with Percy’s and Finola’s story. It’s unlikely I’ll type THE END in March, but I should come pretty close.
Next book in the HFF series. March: Yes, it’s already time to start thinking about this book (tentative release date Jan 2020!). I hope to start on the discovery phase, which will include setting up a playlist, noodling through some Story Genius worksheets, and maybe doing a jungle-themed jigsaw puzzle (for reasons to be discussed at a later date).
I think I have enough to keep me busy for the next month (or six). But I also need to fit in some reading time. I’ve read nearly a dozen books thus far in 2019, the highest count by this point of the year in many years for me. It’s good for the mind, good for the soul, and good for remembering why I do all this in the first place: for the love of story.
How did life treat you in February? And what’s on your agenda for March?
Oy, vey, Nancy! You are progressing like a house afire. While I am trying to complete a chapter 1 that my critique partners don’t hate. 🙂 You go!
First chapters are always the hardest and get the most rewrites, IMHO. I really love the first chapter of book 2 of my VR series, but I’ll be sending it to beta readers next week, so we’ll see how I feel about it after they’ve had a cut at it.😬
What excellent progress! It’s fascinating to see how the marketing side works, so I hope you’ll talk a little bit about that in the coming months.
As for me, I’m still in limbo. I keep getting these really good ideas, and then not finding a couple of hours to work on them . . . ideas die if they aren’t planted into a story fairly quickly, or at least, that’s what I’ve found.
I keep thinking if I can hang on just a little bit more, things will open up for me . . . but I think I’m fooling myself. I do have firm commitments for the month of March, but beginning in April, I think I’m going to have to slash into some of my long-term habits, and find time for what I want to do, rather than for short-term pleasures and comfort.
If I can do that for myself, I have a feeling it’d have a terribly invigorating effect on my heroines.
Ugh, marketing. I’m treating my early releases like guinea pigs, hoping to hone a strategy that will work best for my particular books and readers by the time I get to later books in the series. The eventual goal is to spend less money and a lot less energy on it!
Sounds like you’re kicking butt!